Jean-Claude Juncker

EU official favors Western Balkans integration into the bloc

A senior European Union official said Tuesday that the road to membership in the bloc for Albania and Macedonia would be tough but "worth the effort."

European Council President Donald Tusk's comments came as he started a weeklong tour of Western Balkans countries, urging more work in the rule of law and the fight against organized crime and corruption.

The 28 EU member states must agree unanimously for any country to become a member. Accession to the bloc has been a powerful driver of political and democratic reform in post-communist countries.

"The process will resemble more a hurdles race than a motorway. But full integration remains our common...